Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
Academy Award® nominee Brad Pitt (“Twelve Monkeys”), Academy Award® winner Catherine Zeta-Jones (“Chicago”), three-time Oscar® nominee Michelle Pfeiffer (“Dangerous Liaisons,” “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” “Love Field”), Joseph Fiennes (“Shakespeare in Love”) and Dennis Haysbert (“Far From Heaven,” TV’s “24”) lend their voices to the animated action adventure “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.”
Sinbad (Brad Pitt), the most daring and notorious rogue ever to sail the seven seas, has-spent his life asking for trouble, and trouble has finally answered.. in a big way. Framed for stealing one of the world’s most priceless and powerful treasures—the Book of Peace—Sinbad has one chance to find and return the precious book, or his best friend Proteus (Joseph Fiennes) will die. Sinbad decides not to take that chance and instead sets a course for the fin and sun of the Fiji Islands.
But the best laid plans…
Proteus’ beautiful betrothed, Marina(Catherine Zeta-Jones), has stowed away on Sinbad’s ship, determined to make sure that Sinbad fulfills his mission and saves Proteus’ life. Now the man who put the “bad” in Sinbad is about to find out how bad bad can be. It’s never a good thing when Eris (Michelle Pfeiffer), the goddess of chaos, has it out for you, and Eris lives up to her name dispatching both monstrous creatures and the elements to do battle with Sinbad along the way. There is even mutiny afoot—times four—when Sinbad’s loyal dog Spike switches allegiances. Adding insult to injury, the crew has decided they like taking orders from Marina.. .better than from Sinbad.
“Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas” is directed by Tim Johnson and Patrick Gilmore and produced by Mireille Soria (“Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron”) and Jeffrey Katzenberg (“Shrek”), from a screenplay by John Logan (“Gladiator”).
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
For generation after generation, the name Sinbad has evoked images of swashbuckling adventures on the high seas. Born more than a thousand years ago in the ancient tales of The Arabian Nights, Sinbad has come to the big screen before, most notably in Ray Harryhausen’s cult classic stop-motion animated films. However, the state-of-the-art tools of today’s traditional animation have allowed Sinbad to be brought to the screen as never before in “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.”
Producer Jeffrey Katzenberg offers, “Sinbad is one of those epic hero characters we all grew up with, but his story has never been told in animation, and the opportunity to do something fresh, with a contemporary sensibility, was very exciting. Telling the Sinbad tale- also allowed us to create an incredibly breathtaking world full of fantastic monsters. That’s the fun of animation—to take an audience to places unlike anything they’ve ever seen before.”
To craft the script, the filmmakers turned to a writer who was no stranger to bringing epic heroes of the past to the screen: John Logan, the writer of the Oscae-winning Best Picture “Gladiator.”
“After the phenomenal success of ‘Gladiator,’ we thought, who better to adapt the legend of Sinbad?,” says Katzenberg. “John set out to take this rich mythology and reinvent it in a way that would make it a compelling story for a 21st-century audience, and I think he really accomplished that for us.”
Having never worked on an animated film before, John Logan recalls that he was intrigued by the story possibilities, but at the same time admits, “I had no idea what to expect. Jeffrey Katzenberg—who, by the way, is quite the con man—asked me if I would like to write an animated movie. I said, ‘Well, I really don’t know much about it.’ He assured me, ‘It’s really fun; you’ll have a great lime doing this,’ knowing full well the ‘fun’ would take four years of my life,” Logan laughs.
“But I must say, it was incredible fun,” the writer continues. “I grew up on those classic Sinbad movies with Ray Harryhausen’s stop- motion animation monsters, and I have always loved pirate movies with all that swashbuckling action. What guy doesn’t? So to get to play in that realm for a while was really exciting. Animation is also incredibly liberating because it gives a writer absolute freedom to explore the most fantastical worlds. In live action, there’s always a nagging thought fir the back of my mind that if I write that 10,000 soldiers come over the hill, somebody has to cast them, somebody has to wardrobe them, somebody has to shoot them, and there has to be a hill. But in animation, if I write that a 100-foot sea monster rises from the waves and jumps over the ship, I know it can happen.”
Logan also appreciated the level of teamwork that comes with working on an animated film, saying, “I was the beneficiary of some incredible talents because the act of writing `Sinbad’ was actually one of collaboration with the producers, directors, animators, story editors, artists, the voice talent… It was like electricity in that room; wonderful things emerged as we all tried different takes on the material.”
Producer Mireille Soria notes, “We started with the Sinbad legend and then brought in different elements of mythology that we felt worked with the story. There is action and romance, but at its core is a tale of friendship based on the Greek fable of Damon and Pythius, about one friend who is willing to sacrifice his life for the other.”
Director Patrick Gilmore expounds, “We cast a really wide net out to different mythologies to find what we thought were the greatest adventures and the coolest monsters to test our hero, but the thread that runs through the story is a test of friendship. In our story, Sinbad is reunited with his friend Proteus after having been estranged for about 10 years. Yet, when Sinbad gets into trouble, Proteus steps forward and puts his own life on the line for his old friend. What will Sinbad—this thief who is used to having the freedom to do anything he wants in life—do? Will he run for the horizon, or will he risk his life for his friend?”
Brad Pitt gives voice to the title character of Sinbad, or, the actor jokes, “as I like to call him, Sin-Brad.” Pitt goes on to describe his character as “a bit of a rogue. He lives a life of adventure on the high seas. He finds a little treasure, fights a few monsters.. .and he likes the girls.”
Director Tim Johnson states, “Casting Brad Pitt as Sinbad was a home run for us. He’s funny, he’s charismatic, he’s dashing, and with him at the helm of this character, we had a blast.”
“He fit the role of Sinbad to a T,” Gilmore adds. “Brad is charming and witty and fun to be around. He’s the sort of guy you’d want to go on a road trip with, and that’s what we wanted in Sinbad. Sinbad is smart, resourceful and physically strong; he can get you out of any jam. But at the same time, he’s got some growing up to do. Brad carried that off really well.”
Jakob Hjort Jensen, who served as the lead supervising animator for the character of Sinbad, offers that Pitt gave him more than a vocal performance with which to work. “Brad has specific body movements, and he talks a lot with his hands. It was fun to watch him do lines and observe things he’d do with his hands that I could maybe use. I did little thumbnail sketches so I could remember his gestures four or five months later when I was animating that particular scene.”
Making his first foray into animation, Pitt surprised even himself with the physicality of recording the voice of Sinbad. “I really got into it. I would get home and actually be sore. But even though I wish I could take credit for it, I have to say that so much of the character was in the hands of Jakob and the other animators. I was blown away by the detail they can put into a facial expression and the dynamics of the movement. What they can do with animation these days is pretty remarkable.”
“Animators are a rare and talented breed,” Johnson agrees. “When an animator is watching a performance, he is not only listening to the voice; he is looking for those key gestures that an actor uses to sell a line and then takes them and makes them bigger. It’s a meticulous and magical process. Jakob was able to incorporate ‘Bradisms’ that are central to who Brad is and make him so recognizable, so even though Sinbad doesn’t look like Brad Pitt, boy does he move like him.”
Sinbad and his crew have plundered their way across the seven seas, but now Sinbad is going after the most powerful and priceless treasure of all—the Book of Peace. Unfortunately for him, someone else has her eye on the same prize: Eris, the mischievously evil goddess of chaos, whose joy in life is to wreak havoc upon the world.
John Logan remarks, “Any writer worth their salt is going to tell you that the most fun character to write is always the villain. Eris certainly was for me because you can never go over the top with a goddess or a great villain, and when the villain is a goddess, it’s just endless fun.”
Michelle Pfeiffer, who provides the voice of Eris, was eager to share in the fun. “All they had to say was ‘the goddess of chaos,’ and I said ‘yes,” she laughs. “I wasn’t trying to create a villain; I wanted her to be playful. She just relishes stirring up trouble to make things interesting and amusing for herself… like her own reality TV. If it’s too peaceful, it’s terribly boring to her. The whole thing starts out as a game where she is pretty sure what the end result will be because she is convinced that man is weak. She’s just toying with Sinbad, like a cat batting around a mouse.”
Taking her cue—and adding a reference to one of the actress’ most memorable roles—Gilmore states, “Eris is Catwoman with a god complex. She is a combination of seduction and magic and fun and games, and Michelle put that all together beautifully.”
Katzenberg, who had worked with Pfeiffer on DreamWorks’ first traditionally animated feature, “The Prince of Egypt,” notes, “I don’t believe there is another actress in the world who could mix all of those amazing characteristics together better than Michelle. I also think the character of Eris was more challenging because she was not rooted in any physical embodiment that an actor could relate to. It became a collaborative process of discovering the character along the way. Michelle didn’t just come in and read the lines; she really helped invent the character.”
Gilmore reveals, “Very early on, we talked about Eris being a product of her own thought, meaning that she could think about something and become that thing, or think about moving someplace and she’s instantly there. She morphs, she twists, she changes shapes…”
In a remarkable showcase of what can be accomplished by traditional animators, Eris’ constant shape-shifting was achieved entirely with the tools of 2D animation. The supervising animator for Eris, Dan Wagner, says that, in spite of the challenges it posed, “The morphing was the most fun part of animating Eris. This was pure animation. Once I got into the morphing, there were no model sheets to follow and no boundaries. It was just having fun.”
Wagner’s approach to animating Eris became the equivalent of animating two characters, as he treated her long, flowing hair as a separate entity. “The hair was like a second character,” Wagner attests. “First I would animate Eris without her hair, and once that was going pretty well, I’d add the hair on top. I wanted her hair to have a kind of underwater feel to it. Her body would be zipping around, but her hair might be doing its own thing. It showed another dimension to her character, though it had to be secondary because the focus should stay on her face.”
Eris not only represents the best of hand-drawn animation, but also how far animation has come in the seamless blending of 2D, or traditional, animation and 3D, or computer, animation. The character is decidedly ethereal, constantly floating in space and never touching down on what mere mortals call legs. To help give Eris that otherworldly appearance, her face, body and hair were traditionally animated, while the end of her body materializes in wisps of smoke that were rendered in 3D animation.
Effects supervisor Doug Ikeler explains, “Eris is a hand-drawn character, but we wanted to integrate her into her environment, so we used a package called Paint Effects to give her those 3D smoky trails. It was difficult because 2D is flat—it’s drawn on a piece of paper—while, by definition, 3D has depth, so the character and the wisps of smoke that follow her are residing in two different spaces. We cheated it to make it look like they exist in the same realm, but as she touches down, the ensuing mist is able to spread out and go back in space, so that part is full-on 3D.”
When, for reasons of his own, Sinbad decides not to steal the Book of Peace, Eris takes matters into her own hands. Peace is the last thing she wants, so she takes the book herself, framing Sinbad for the crime in the process. Sinbad’s protestations of innocence fall on deaf ears and he is condemned to death, but to everyone’s shock, Prince Proteus intervenes on Sinbad’s behalf. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Proteus trusts Sinbad to risk his own life to find and return the precious book in time to save the prince’s life.
“Proteus is a man who takes his responsibilities very seriously,” says Tim Johnson. “He is the Prince of Syracuse, and when he is faced with the greatest disaster the city has ever known—the theft of the Book of Peace—he feels it is up to him to solve the problem. He is the only one who believes in Sinbad’s innocence, but he also knows that Sinbad is the only one who stands a chance of recovering the Book of Peace.”
Johnson adds that Proteus’ almost too-good-to-be-true nobility made him a hard role to play, but casting Joseph Fiermes in the part gave it just the right balance. “Proteus is so noble and true, he could easily have come off as flat, but Joe did an amazing job. He brought a dynamic to Proteus that conveys how he wrestles with every decision. You understand that this is not a guy who immediately and easily makes the noble choice.
He is somebody who understands how much sacrifice is sometimes involved in doing the right thing.”
Joseph Fiennes agrees that Proteus struggles with the duties of his position, which must preclude his own love of adventure. “I can’t help but feel that deep down, if Proteus didn’t have his royal obligations, he would love to join Sinbad out on the high seas as a pirate,” he observes. “There is probably this yin and yang within him—this urge to be everything that Sinbad is.. .everything their boyhood friendship was based on. There is a great history between these two; they have a wonderful relationship, built on all the dynamics of being best friends at a young age. They spark off each other, and while they can be very argumentative, you realize that there is a
great trust and a great love between them.”
Proteus’ regal calling in life also influenced how supervising animator Rodolphe Guenoden drew the character. “We had to differentiate between how Sinbad and Proteus moved and expressed themselves,” Guenoden says. “Proteus was formally educated and trained from birth, so he is very restrained and very proper. I had to pull back from any spontaneous gestures or mannerisms, and make very precise and articulate moves. That was the toughest job because, as an animator, you want to do more, but with Proteus, less is more. Joseph Fiennes made my job easier because he is such an intense actor and very classically trained, so the acting was already there. I just had to follow the path.”
Fiennes counters that the inspiration for the character worked both ways. “You are given such wonderful insight into the character through the vision of the artists. This was my first venture into the territory of animation, and I was wildly excited by the opportunity. The sheer
imagination that went into creating the world they were asking me to step into… What actor could turn that down? The detail of the craftsmanship was mind-boggling; it gave me goose bumps. I have such respect for the people who draw these characters over a period of years. It’s an extraordinary task.”
As it turns out, Proteus’ trust in Sinbad might have been misplaced.
However, his fiancée, Marina, the Ambassador of Thrace, has no illusions about Sinbad, and her instincts pay off. Instead of setting a course to Eris’ lair in Tartarus, Sinbad turns his ship, The Chimera, towards Fiji for a permanent shore leave, unaware that he has an uninvited guest aboard:
Marina has stowed away and has no intention of allowing Sinbad to desert her intended. “Marina is extremely strong-willed, which is very challenging to Sinbad,” Gilmore says. “Sinbad considers himself the master of the seven seas and is used to being in total control of everything on his boat. All of the sudden, his world is turned upside down when he is confronted by this headstrong woman who is unafraid to stand up to him and is more than capable of going toe-to-toe with him. It’s fun to watch these two tangle and see the sparks fly.”
Catherine Zeta-Jones, who provides the voice of Marina, agrees. “Marina is feisty and very opinionated, so she and Sinbad are equals, while coming from very different places. The banter between them was so much fun to play because it was not your usual princess-meets-rogue dialogue. Marina gives as good as she gets. They have a very funny relationship because, in Sinbad’s mind, she’s not supposed to say and do the things she actually says and does.”
“Catherine was the first voice talent cast for this picture, and she just blew us away with her performance,” Johnson states. “We really based the whole character, dialogue and design of Marina on being fortunate enough to have Catherine in the role.”
Zeta-Jones says that her own upbringing helped her identify with her character, noting, “I grew up in a family of boys and heard many times about what girls can’t or shouldn’t be doing. But I have always been a little feisty myself, and believed that girls can do things just as well as boys, so I related very much to Marina. I hope young girls and women of all ages enjoy Marina as much as I enjoyed playing her. She’s bright and funny and honest and strong… things I hope to instill in my own daughter.”
Catherine’s affinity for her role also benefited William Salazar, the supervising animator for Marina. “Catherine’s voice really captures Marina’s spirit and determination,” Salazar says. “I was inspired by her acting and used some of her movements and poses to show Marina’s attitude.”
Much to Sinbad’s consternation, Marina quickly proves her mettle and wins the favor of the crew, even earning the respect of Sinbad’s loyal first mate Kale, voiced by Dennis Haysbert.
“Kale is Sinbad’s first mate,” Haysbert says. “He makes sure the crew follows orders. If there were any kind of mutiny in the air, I think one look from Kale would squelch it. But he has multiple job descriptions: He is a warrior supreme with whom you would want to go into battle; he is the friend Sinbad can count on to watch his back; and he also acts as Sinbad’s conscience to rein him in when he gets too ‘out there.”
Brad Pitt acknowledges, “Here is the problem: Sinbad’s got a bit of an ego, and sometimes that ego gets in the way. So he has Kale as his right-hand man to keep him on the straight and narrow.”
“I cannot say enough about what a delight it was to have Dennis in the role of Kale,” Patrick Gilmore comments. “When we first started working on the story, Kale was sort of a yes man. He did whatever Sinbad needed. Then Dennis came aboard. and played Kale as Sinbad’s
conscience—that little voice that challenges Sinbad to do the right thing, To do right by his friend Proteus, as well as Marina. Dennis gave so much spirit, nobility and confidence to the character that Kale’s role was actually expanded. There were whole scenes written for him based on what Dennis brought to the part.”
As the character evolved, the filmmakers and supervising animator Bruce Ferriz modified the overall design of Kale to better fit Haysbert’s portrayal. Gilmore explains, “Kale was always a big, strong guy, but once we started listening to Dennis’ voice, we made changes to the character, mostly in how he moved. Kale doesn’t jump into a fight and spring around defending himself. He just walks right into the middle of it and calmly and politely relieves people of their weapons, leaving a trail of unconscious bodies behind him.”
Another member of the crew who takes an instant liking to Marina is Rat, who, in contrast to Kale, is small and wiry and more at ease swinging from the crow’s nest than standing on the deck. Rat is voiced by Adrian° Giannini, the son of legendary actor Giancarlo Giannini. Tim Johnson says,
“Adrian° came in with so much energy. Even performing at a microphone in a cold room, he made me feel like he was swinging from mast to mast or hanging upside down to confront Sinbad.”
No matter what, Sinbad knows he can at least count on the loyalty of man’s best friend: his beloved dog Spike. Well, maybe not, says Johnson. “Spike has been by Sinbad’s side through all his adventures, but when the beautiful Marina shows up, even he can’t help but find her pretty special. In a way, Spike plays matchmaker for the two of them in the picture.”
“Spike and Marina have a wonderful relationship,” Zeta-Jones smiles. “The idea of sharing a bunk with him isn’t too nice at first, but they develop a great friendship that grows and grows—much like Spike’s part.
Spike has taken over the movie,” she teases. “As actors, we’re none too pleased with him. It’s hard to compete with such a charismatic animal. In fact, I ran into Brad Pitt recently and told him that I want to do another movie with him where we don’t have to compete with Spike.”
The filmmakers put a lot of thought into what kind of dog a character like Sinbad should own. Gilmore relates, “At first, Spike was a well-groomed Akita-type dog.. very pretty. But we took one look at the design and said, ‘No, that’s not Sinbad’s dog.’ We went back and found the American Kennel Club description of a bull mastiff. They are huge and powerful. I mean, these are dogs that fought elephants. We said, ‘Okay, that’s the kind of breed Sinbad would have.”
While it only took one actor to voice each of the human characters, it took no less than eight dogs to play Spike, and both directors agree the “dog days” were the funniest on the recording stage. Johnson recalls,
“Those were probably the wildest and most unpredictable days in front of the microphone. We had dogs of all shapes and sizes to voice Spike, because there were all these acting moments that we needed. In some ways, Spike has more lines of ‘dialogue’ than some of the humans in the film. So it took eight dogs, four hours, and a whole lot of bowls of water to get what we needed for our one dog Spike, mostly because some of the better takes were destroyed by our own laughter.”
“Any trained dog can bark on command,” Gilmore expounds. “It’s the grumbles, it’s the mutters, it’s all those sounds that bring the character to life. And you should have seen the tricks we pulled on those dogs to bring Spike to life: We put mayonnaise on plates to get those wet, drooly, licking sounds; we showed them a toy and then held it back to,get those frustrated whines… It was basically sitting in a recording room playing with dogs to get the wide variety of sounds that Spike makes. But it was important, because from the moment we decided Sinbad was going to have a dog, we knew we wanted it to be a real dog—not a cartoon sidekick, not a dog voiced by a human, but a real dog. Spike does a lot of cool stuff in the movie, but it’s stuff a real dog could conceivably be trained to do, if he belonged to
someone like Sinbad.”
Amongst the canine ensemble cast as Spike, there was one dog that took the lead in both voice and mannerisms: Harvey, a bulldog with a face only an animator could love. A veteran of such films as “Batman” and “I Love Trouble,” Harvey is trained by renowned animal trainer Boone Nan, who says, “I got the call that they were looking for a dog with an unusual ‘voice,’ and we knew that had to be Harvey. We took him down to the recording stage, and Harvey stole the show. He has several pitches of barks, and when you scratch his stomach, he makes these guttural snorty sounds.
I’d say he’s the Marlon Brando type—he only says a few words, but when he says them, it means something,” Nan laughs.
Nan relates that audiences will also see some of Harvey in Spike, as the animators, led by Serguei Kouchnerov, incorporated a number of the bulldog’s expressions to go along with his “voice.” “They really captured his curiosity—the way his head tilts.. things like that. So even though several dogs went into creating Spike, the main part of him is Harvey.”
CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL
Sinbad is not the only one with a pet. Eris has her own menagerie of creatures, although they are hardly what you would call tame. The goddess often dispatches them to instigate the chaos she lives to create.
The inspiration for Eris’ monsters came from the night sky. Many of the constellations were born of mythology, so in turn, the filmmakers made them part of the Sinbad mythology. Johnson, a self-proclaimed “astronomy nut,” remarks, “To bring these astronomical icons to life as creatures that a goddess could call her ‘pets’ was an exciting way to have some fun with the character while hinting at her power.”
Gilmore illustrates: “The constellation Cetus became our sea monster; Aquila inspired our giant bird of prey called the Roc. You see Scorpius, you see Draco… They are all part of Eris’ cosmic realm of chaos.”
The gigantic sea monster is the first of Eris’ “pets” to confront Sinbad, and the computer-animated creature posed almost as big a challenge to the COT animators who had to manipulate it. The sea creature had a myriad of moving parts—a head, a tail, tentacles, ears, legs,
a tongue, and more—all of which had independent controls, making it exceedingly complex.
The computer-animated snowbird called the Roc presented a different set of challenges. Not only does it appear the size of a commercial jetliner, the Roc also generates a perpetual snowstorm in its wake. Doug Ikeler, the 3D effect supervisor, notes, “Wherever he flies, a snowstorm follows, but it couldn’t look like falling snow; it’s snow that’s caught up in the vortex caused by his flapping wings. It has a hand-drawn, swirly quality to it, so it was a very large effect for us.”
The Sirens, while hardly monstrous in appearance, were among the most dangerous creatures faced by Sinbad, Marina and the crew of The Chimera, and among the most complicated to animate. Johnson offers, “Sirens are the mythological women who sing songs that entrance sailors and cause them to crash on the rocks and drown. We wanted our Sirens to feel unearthly and derived purely from water. We went through a lot of development to take animated female figures and turn them into essentially living fountains. When they rise out of the water, they splash up like a wave, float in the air, and then fragment into a million drops of water as they try to sweep the men off the deck of the ship.”
To choreograph the graceful movements of the Sirens, the 3D animators, led by Michelle Cowan, studied the moves of rhythmic gymnastics, ballet and modem dance. They also looked at underwater photography to depict the fluidity of the seductresses. The initial 3D
characters looked more like naked silver plastic women until the effects department took over. The effects team used particle systems to create flowing drapes of water that gave the Sirens their liquid appearance.
The Sirens’ hair, which enhances their ethereal quality, took the longest to animate. Every Siren had 16 strands of hair, each of which had a minimum of seven separate controls to manipulate its shape. The problem was that even when the animators got the individual strands moving beautifully, they didn’t always move beautifully together, resulting in the character looking more like Medusa than a Siren. In addition, the animators 4 didn’t know exactly what the end result would be after the effects department completed the look, so there was a lot of going back and forth between the departments and starting over again to get it right.
After eluding the Sirens, Sinbad and Marina find no respite even on what appears to be a small tropical island. The small island is actually a big fish that would dwarf even the largest whale. During an exciting escape sequence, Fish Island ends up with The Chimera in tow, taking the crew on a wild ride that tests the fortitude of even the most experienced seafarer.
Doug Ikeler describes, “This relatively tiny boat is being dragged behind a fish that’s thousands of feet long, which generates this gigantic wake behind it. The boat is caught in the wake, making it do these wave- boarding moves. We had to render huge splashes and the white water that you would associate with those enormous wakes, as well as the mist to give it scale. It was probably a 50-layer scene for us, because we had to create all the things that make water look like water.”
The advancements in animation notwithstanding, animating water still poses tremendous challenges. True to its title, “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas” is set on the ocean, and when a story takes place almost entirely on the water, the demands increase exponentially.
Patrick Gilmore notes that, with the help of DreamWorks’ preferred technology provider Hewlett-Packard, the effects depaffment developed an ingenious way to expedite the process. “Rather than compose the ocean per shot, what they decided to do was build an entire ocean and have it run procedurally. It was our ability to have this entire rolling ocean at our disposal that made it possible to do as many water shots as we needed in the film.”
Ikeler explains, “We needed a way to put the ocean in almost every scene of the movie, so we devoted a lot of time to coming up with software that would give us a kind of plug-‘n’-play ocean library. Once we had our ocean simulation, we just let it play for about 1,000 frames, which gave us our ocean on a grand scale. We then told everyone, ‘It’s done; it’s baked.
Your ocean is playing. Go put a camera on it and shoot it from whatever angle you need to.’ The layout department could then take the base shape of the water, fly a camera around it, and compose their shot with an already produced ocean. Once they had their basic composition, we came back in and laid in all the elements that went with that particular location.”
The layout department also benefited from the unprecedented use of computer models of scene elements, called animatics, to camera block the entire movie in 3D. While animatics are not new to animation, no other film has ever been pre-shot from start to finish utilizing them. Layout supervisor Damon O’Beirne offers, “Animatics basically allowed us to build a scene in the computer in 3D. What’s great about them is you can play back a scene in real time, which provided us a great template for the action. There are a number of big action sequences in `Sinbad; and working with animatics gave us the opportunity to explore the best camera angles to drive those sequences and to create a strong cinematic style for the movie. With animatics, we can even shoot coverage, which enabled us to give extra scenes to the editor, who can then pick and choose.”
Editor Tom Finan adds, “It helped a great deal. In the past, we cut from storyboard sketches. But now, with animatics, you can see camera moves in advance and even how the characters move within a shot, which you couldn’t get with storyboards. Being able to edit from moving images is much more like cutting live action.”
Innovations in animation have been coming so rapidly that filmmakers have been able, in essence, to “put the cart before the horse” with regard to technology. Jeffrey Katzenberg attests, “Unlike any movie I’ve worked on before, on `Sinbad’ the technology had to catch up with our ambition for the film, as opposed to the other way around.”
Johnson agrees, “Sinbad’ was more than three years in the making, and when you’re planning something that far ahead of its release, you have to take a leap of faith that, with moviemaking advances, we would be able to do what we had only imagined. We didn’t know how we were going to do it, but we knew we had the time and some incredibly talented people to figure out how to pull it off.”
The filmmakers utilized some advances in animation in the design of Tartarus, the home of Eris, which lay beyond the edge of the world.
Depicted as an ever-shifting ocean of sand, Tartarus was realized as a result of an ongoing collaboration between the production design and effects teams.
Production designer Raymond Zibach says’, “Tartarid presented a huge challenge in how to show the land of chaos where Eris resides. We i went through multiple versions until Tim Johnson came up with the idea of sand that would be animated like water—this chaotic terrain that you can stand on but not control.”
Ikeler expounds, “We rendered waves of sand that move like waves on the ocean, and as they rise and fall, they reveal the ruins of ancient eities. We had to do a lot of particle effects that come with having sand blowing across the surface or trickling down the face of whatever is revealed when the sand recedes.”
The main set of the film was The Chimera, the ship that carries Sinbad, Marina and their crew from one adventure to the next. Zibach and co-art directors Seth Engstrom and David James had a great deal of fun with the design of the ship, as well as its clever gadgets, which, for the design team, made The Chimera a character in the film.
“The Chimera is more than a ship; it is a wonderful tool at Sinbad’s disposal,” Zibach states. “The main objective was to make it simple but bold in its shape and then build on it without getting too sci-fi—to keep it within the period that the story takes place.”
The beautiful ancient city of Syracuse was intentionally designed not to reflect any one culture. John Logan notes, “The legend of Sinbad has been reinterpreted many times, so in exploring elements of the different tales, we created a wholly fantastical world in which to put our Sinbad. We wanted to create a world of men and monsters—a place where myth could be made real—so we kept it away from actual places and created a Syracuse of the imagination, relating not at all to the Syracuse in Italy.. .or Syracuse, ‘ New York, for that matter.”
Mireille Soria offers, “We wanted our Syracuse to combine the romanticism of Venice and the exoticness of Damascus, so Raymond, Seth and David did a lot of research through art and architecture. They brought in the flavors of the Middle East, Greece and Italy, and then shook them up to make the setting original and new.”
The musical score, composed by Harry Gregson-Williams, was another aspect of the production that incorporated a blend of cultural influences. “The core of the music is orchestral, but it’s not necessarily traditional,” Gregson-Williams remarks. “The setting of the story is unspecific, which gave me license to use a smattering of different ethnic instruments.”
Gilmore says, “We went to Harry specifically because we had created this fantasy world for `Sinbad,’ and it needed a musical voice that wasn’t familiar. After having scored movies like `Shrek,”Chicken Run’ and ‘Antz,’ he is used to composing for worlds that don’t exist. Harry delivered an amazing musical journey to accompany Sinbad’s adventures. He created this fully orchestrated score, with ethnic sounds to make it feel exotic and fantastic, but contemporary in its arrangements.”
That approach fit in perfectly with the filmmakers’ goals for “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.” “We really wanted to take Sinbad, this fabulous adventure character from the past, and bring him to a 21st-century audience,” Johnson comments.
Brad Pitt believes the film’s appeal will also transcend age groups, remarking, “I love this film; it’s fantastically fun. I originally thought of doing it for my nieces and nephews, but even now, as an adult, this is my kind of movie. What the filmmakers went after was a movie that everyone could get something out of, and I think they truly pulled it off. Since parents usually end up seeing a film over and over with their kids, it’s nice that they can enjoy it, too.”
John Logan reflects, “All of the old Sinbad stories and movies have that swashbuckling fun to them, and certainly we tried to capture that joy of adventure in our Sinbad. But what surprised me about this movie is how adult it is. It has all the freewheeling fun of an animated movie, but at its core there is this romantic story about how this man discovers his better self”
Katzenberg agrees, “Through all his adventures, Sinbad learns that there are some things you can’t escape. When it comes to love or even a great friendship, you can run, but you can’t hide. It stays with you, which is a powerful lesson to learn.”
ABOUT THE CAST
BRAD PITT (Sinbad), one of the film industry’s most prominent actors, has starred in a wide range of memorable film roles. He earned an Academy Award® nomination and won a Golden Globe Award for his performance in Terry Gilliam’s offbeat drama “Twelve Monkeys.” Pitt had earlier received a Golden Globe nomination for his work in “Legends of the Fall,” opposite Anthony Hopkins.
Pitt first came to national attention in 1991 with his breakthrough role as the seductive hitchhiker in Ridley Scott’s seminal hit “Thelma & Louise.” He went on to earn praise for his work as the charismatic but doomed Paul Maclean in Robert Redford’s “A River Runs Through It”; the psychopathic serial killer in Dominic Sena’s “Kalifornia”; the reluctant vampire Louis in Neil Jordan’s “Interview With the Vampire,” with Tom Cruise; the real-life Heinrich Harrer in Jean-Jacques Annaud’s “Seven Years in Tibet”; a skeptical homicide detective in David Pincher’s thriller “Se7en”; and the manipulative leader of the controversial “Fight Club,” which reunited him with Pincher.
Pitt more recently garnered acclaim for his role in Guy Ritchie’s “Snatch.” He also joined an all-star ensemble cast, including George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon and Bernie Mac, in Steven Soderbergh’s hit remake of “Ocean’s Eleven.” In addition, he starred opposite Julia Roberts in the romantic comedy “The Mexican,” and with Robert Redford in Tony Scott’s “Spy Game,” and made cameo appearances in Soderbergh’s “Full Frontal” and George Clooney’s “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.”
His list of film credits also includes Martin Brest’s “Meet Joe Black,” Alan J. Pakula’s “The Devil’s Own,” Barry Levinson’s “Sleepers,” Tony Scott’s “True Romance,” Ralph Bakshi’s “Cool World,” and “Johnny Suede,” which won the Best Picture award at the 1991 Locamo International Film Festival.
Pitt will next star as Achilles in the epic drama “Troy,” based on the Greek poet Homer’s classic account of the Trojan War, The Iliad.
CATHERINE ZETA-JONES (Marina) won an Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the Oscar-winning Best Picture “Chicago,” in which she starred with Renee Zellweger and Richard Gere. She also won Screen Actors Guild (SAG), BAFTA and Critics Choice Awards, and received a Golden Globe Award nomination for her acting, singing and dancing portrayal of the murderous Velma Kelly in the musical.
In addition to Zeta-Jones’ individual awards, the entire cast of “Chicago” won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Motion Picture Cast.
Zeta-Jones had previously earned a Golden Globe nomination for her work in Steven Soderbergh’s drama “Traffic,” and, along with her fellow castmates, won a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Motion Picture Cast.
This fall, Zeta-Jones will star opposite George Clooney in the Coen brothers’ comedy “Intolerable Cruelty,” in which she plays a gold-digging Beverly Hills divorcee.
Born in Wales, Zeta-Jones began her career on the stage, starring in the West End production of “42nd Street.” She then landed a leading role in the hit Yorkshire Television series “The Darling Buds of May,” based on the novels of HE. Bates.
Zeta-Jones first gained international recognition with her standout performance in the action adventure hit “The Mask of Zorro,” in which she starred opposite Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins. She next played an undercover insurance investigator trying to trap a thief, played by Sean Connery, in Jon Amiel’s romantic thriller “Entrapment.”
She more recently starred as a diva movie star in Joe Roth’s directorial debut feature “America’s Sweethearts,” with Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal and John Cusack.
MICHELLE PFEIFFER (Eris) is a three-time Academy Award® nominee and one of today’s most respected leading ladies. Pfeiffer gained her first Oscar® nomination for her work in “Dangerous Liaisons,” for which she also won a BAFTA Award. She then earned both Oscar® and BAFTA Award nominations, and won a Golden Globe Award and several top critics awards, for her performance opposite Jeff and Beau Bridges in “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” in which her sultry torch song atop a piano became an instant cinema classic. Pfeiffer again received Oscar® and Golden Globe I nominations for her work in “Love Field.” In addition, she has garnered Golden Globe nominations for “The Age of Innocence,” “Frankie and Johnny,” “Tile Russia House” and “Married to the Mob.” This year, Pfeiffer was honored by her peers with a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for her role in “White Oleander.”
Pfeiffer also recently earned praise for her performance in “I Am Sam,” in which she starred with Sean Penn. In 2000, she starred opposite Harrison Ford in the hit summer thriller “What Lies Beneath.”
Pfeiffer made her’ feature film debut with a starring role in a “Hollywood Knights.” She went on to gain attention for her leading role performance in “Grease 2,” and then starred with Al Pacino in Brian De Palma’s “Scarface.” She later joined Cher and Susan Sarandon as “The
Witches of Eastwick,” opposite Jack Nicholson. Her additional credits include such diverse films as “Ladyhawke”; “Tequila Sunrise,” with Mel Gibson; the blockbuster “Batman Returns”, “Wolf,” which reunited her with Jack Nicholson; “Dangerous Minds”; “Up Close & Personal,”
opposite Robert Redford; “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday”; “One Fine Day,” opposite George Clooney; DreamWorks’ animated epic “The Prince of Egypt”; “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”; and “The Story of Us,” with Bruce Willis.
JOSEPH FIENNES (Proteus) was already a star of the British theatre when he rose to international fame in 1998 with his back-to-back starring roles in the acclaimed biopic “Elizabeth,” and the Oscar-winning Best Picture “Shakespeare in Love.” Fiennes’ portrayal of a love-struck William Shakespeare in the latter brought him both BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations, and he also shared in winning the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Motion Picture Cast. That same year, he received the Broadcast Film Critics Award for Breakthrough Performance for his work in both “Shakespeare in Love” and “Elizabeth.”
Fiennes had made his feature film debut in Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Stealing Beauty.” His other film credits include “The Very Thought of You,” Paul Schrader’s “Forever Mine,” Edward Thomas’ “Rancid Aluminum,” Jean-Jacques Annaud’s “Enemy at the Gates,” Milcho
Manchevski’s “Dust,” which premiered atthe 2001 Venice Film Festival, and “Leo,” which screened at the 2002 Toronto Film Festival. He also stars n several upcoming films, including John Dahl’s “The Great Raid,” with Benjamin Bratt and James Franco; and the Martin Luther biopic “Luther,” in which he plays the title role.
Fiennes began his career on the stage after graduating from London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1993. He made his professional stage debut as The Actor in “The Woman In Black,” and later spent three seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing leading roles in such plays as “Troilus And Cressida,” “Les Enfants du Paradis,” “As You Like It” and Dennis Potter’s “Son Of Man.” He also starred in the West End productions of “A Month in the Country” and “A View From the among his recent credits the Royal National Theatre presentation of Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” the Royal Court’s production of “Real Classy Affair,” and “Edward II,” in Sheffield.
DENNIS HAYSBERT (Kale) is a familiar face to both film and television audiences. This year, he earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for his portrayal of President David Palmer on. the Fox Network’s groundbreaking drama series “24.” Currently in his second
season on the show, Haysbert also received an NAACP Image Award nomination, and shared with the cast in a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Ensemble Performance.
On the big screen, Haysbert was most recently seen in Todd Haynes’ award-winning drama “Far From Heaven,” with Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid. He also starred in “Love & Basketball,” and is known to film audiences for his portrayal of Pedro Cerrano in all three of the “Major League” baseball comedies. His other film credits include the independent film “What’s Cooking?,” Sydney Pollack’s “Random Hearts,” the sci-fi thriller “The Thirteenth Floor,” Clint Eastwood’s “Absolute Power,” Forest Whitaker’s “Waiting to Exhale,” Michael Mann’s “Heat,” “Suture,” “Love Field,” starring Michelle Pfeiffer, and “Navy SEALS.”
Born and raised in California, Haysbert began his acting career when he landed a guest role on the Emmy-winning episode of “Lou Grant” that also featured Jesse Jackson. His subsequent television work includes a starring role on the series “Now and Again,” as well as such longform projects as “Queen” and “Return to Lonesome Dove.”
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
TIM JOHNSON (Director) previously co-directed the computer- animated hit “Anti,” which marked the first animated feature film from PDI/DreamWorks. He is currently directing DreamWorks’ computer-animated comedy “Over the Hedge,” based on the popular comic strip
by Michael Fry and T Lewis, and starring the voices of Jim Carrey and Garry Shandling.
Johnson’s background in film and animation dates back to his college years. While earning a B.A. in English Literature at Northwestern University, he produced two animated films, both of which earned Richter Grant Organization Awards. Upon graduation, he worked for two years as a freelance cel animator and director. His introduction to computer animation came in 1985 while he was on staff at Post Effects in Chicago.
In 1988, Johnson joined what was then PDI, and two years later co-founded the studio’s Character Animation Group. He subsequently served as animation director on “The Simpsons” 1995 Halloween special, “Homer3,” leading the team in transforming the two-dimensional Homer into a three-dimensional world. The episode has remained a favorite of fans of “The Simpsons,” and has become a classic to animation aficionados.
PATRICK GILMORE (Director) makes his film directorial debut with “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.”
Gilmore earned a B.A. in film production from the School of Cinema – Television at the University of Southern California before starting out in motion picture and television production and development at ABC, MGM/UA and then Disney. In 1989, he joined Disney Software, the fledgling division of Disney Consumer Products, which would later grow into Disney Interactive and would mark the beginning of Gilmore’s long career in interactive.
At Disney, Gilmore worked on more than 25 games, and had an instrumental role in producing key products, which helped shift that company from a strictly licensed business to a developer/publisher. Collaborating with Virgin Interactive, he produced the Sega Genesis “Aladdin” product, which established a new benchmark for animation in a video game. That success was followed by more standard-setting games based upon “The Lion King,” “Mickey Mouse” and “Toy Story.”
In 1996, Gilmore came to DreamWorks Interactive, where he launched game console development with the million-selling “The LostWorld” video game. He followed with the successful “Small Soldiers” game, and DreamWorks’ first original console title, “Medal of Honor,”
based upon a concept by Steven Spielberg, which launched a hugely successful franchise of its own. Gilmore joined DreamWorks Feature Animation in September 1999 to begin working on “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.”
MIREILLE SORIA (Producer) most recently produced DreamWorks’ animated adventure “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” which earned an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature. The film marked her first producing credit for an animated motion picture,
though she has an extensive background in live action film and television.
Prior to taking the producing reins for “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” Soria had a producing deal at Fox Family Pictures, where she produced the romantic Cinderella story “Ever After,” starring Drew
Barrymore and Anjelica Huston. Soria also executive produced the_Disney Channel horror comedy “Under Wraps.”
She had previously held the post of vice president of production for Walt Disney Pictures from 1990 to 1995. During her tenure, she oversaw the development and production of such projects as “Cool Runnings,” “The Mighty Ducks” and its two sequels, and 1994’s live action version of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.”
Soria had come to Disney from the Steve Tisch Company, where she was a vice president and also produced several projects. Her producing credits there included the pilot and 13 episodes of the series “Dirty Dancing,” the telefilms “Victim of Love” and “Out on the Edge,” and the CBS Afterschool Special “Lies of the Heart.” She also developed a number of feature film and cable and network television projects.
Soria began her career in 1982 as manager of dramatic series development at ABC. Two years later, she joined Columbia Pictures Television as director of current programs. In 1985, she returned to ABC as director of dramatic series development, and was responsible for developing the groundbreaking series “thirtysomething.”
JEFFREY KATZENBERG (Producer) is a principal partner in DreamWorks SKG, the multi-faceted entertainment company he co-founded with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen in October 1994.
Katzenberg most recently produced DreamWorks’ traditionally animated “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” which earned an Oscar’ nomination for Best Animated Feature. He had previously produced the computer-animated blockbuster “Shrek,” which won the first-ever Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature. “Shrek” was also one of the top- grossing films of the year, and is the second-highest grossing animated feature of all time. The film’s many additional honors include Best Animated Film Awards from a number of critics organizations, including the Broadcast Film Critics and the Los Angeles Film Critics, as well as Golden Globe and Producers Guild Award nominations.
Katzenberg had earlier served as an executive producer on DreamWorks’ clay-animated hit “Chicken Run,” which was named the best- reviewed movie of 2000, in addition to winning awards for Best Animated Feature from several critics groups. He was also an executive producer on the animated epic “The Prince of Egypt,” which won an Oscar® for Best Original Song (“When You Believe”), and on “The Road to El Dorado.”
JOHN LOGAN (Screenwriter) co-wrote the screenplay for the Academy Awardtwinning blockbuster “Gladiator,” for which he received both Oscar® and BAFTA Award nominations. Logan had previously been honored by his peers with a Writers Guild of America Award for his
screenplay for the HBO movie “RICO 281,” for which he also earned an Emmy nomination.
Logan more recently scripted the upcoming Howard Hughes biopic “The Aviator,” which will star Leonardo DiCaprio under the direction of Martin Scorsese; and Ed Zwick’s “The Last Samurai,” starring Tom Cruise, which is due out later this year. His other writing credits include the recent remake of “The Time Machine”; the latest big-screen installment of the “Star Trek” franchise, “Star Trek: Nemesis”; and Oliver Stone’s football drama “Any Given Sunday,” starring Al Pacino and Cameron Diaz.
An accomplished playwright, Logan has written 14 plays, including “Never the Sinner,” which was produced on the stages of Chicago, New York, London, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Austria and Uruguay; and “Hauptmann,” which was seen in Chicago, New York, Tokyo, Edinburgh and Australia. Logan’s recent adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s “The Master Builder” will open in London’s West End this summer.
HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS (Composer) co-composed the score for the Academy Awardtwinning animated blockbuster “Shrek.” He also co-composed the scores for the clay-animated hit “Chicken Run,” and “Antz,” which was the first computer-animated success from PDI/DreamWorks. Gregson-Williams is currently composing the score for the sequel “Shrek 2,” due out in Summer 2004.
On the live action side, Gregson-Williams most recently created the music for the films “Phone Booth,” “Spy Game” and the upcoming “Veronica Guerin.” His other film credits include “Enemy of the State,” “The Match,” “The Borrowers,” “The Replacement Killers,” “Deceiver,”
“Smilla’s Sense of Snow” and “The Rock.”
Born in England to a musical family, Gregson-Williams earned a scholarship from the music school of St. John’s College in Cambridge at the age of seven. By age 13, he had been a soloist on over a dozen records, and then earned a coveted spot at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
He started his film career as an orchestrator and arranger for composer Stanley Myers, and went on to compose his first scores for Nicolas Roeg’s “Full Body Massage” and “Hotel Paradise.” His early credits also include a series of shorts for the BBC, the independent “White Angel,” and “The Whole Wide World,” for director Dan Ireland.
His collaborations with other leading composers have resulted in Gregson-Williams providing additional music for such films as “The Rock,” “Broken Arrow,” “The Fan,” “Muppet Treasure Island,” “Armageddon” and “The Prince of Egypt.”
RAYMOND ZIBACH (Production Designer) previously worked as an art director on “The Road to El Dorado.” Before coming to DreamWorks, he worked at Warner Bros. as a background key and production painter on animated portions of the hit basketball comedy “Space Jam,” which blended live action and animation. He also worked as a background key on such popular Nickelodeon cartoons as “Ren & Stimpy” and “Rocko’s Modern Life.” His other credits include the television and direct-to-video projects “Darkwing Duck,” “Aladdin and the King of Thieves,” “Timon and Pumbaa” and “Shnookums and Meat.”
Zibach is a graduate of the Otis/Parsons School in Los Angeles, , where he majored in design and illustration. In addition to his work on the screen, he has lent his artistry to book illustrations for such titles as Around the World With Timon and Pumbaa, The Genie’s Tale, and Disney’s Aladdin’s Quest Series, The Lion King Series, and Princess Collection.
TOM FINAN (Editor) has had a career spanning 20 years, encompassing both animated and live action projects. He was the supervising editor on the animated blockbuster “The Lion King,” and also edited the animated feature “Hercules.” On the live action front, his
credits include “Stuart Little,” “Pet Sematary II,” “The Wizard” and “It Had to Be You.”
Earlier in his career, Finan served as an associate editor on “Platoon” and “Salvador,” and as an assistant editor on “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” In addition to his feature film work, Finan has also edited for television, including several telefilms and episodics.
DANION O’BEIRNE (Head of Layout) is currently serving as a Head of Layout on DreamWorks’ computer-animated feature “Over the Hedge,” being directed by Tim Johnson. O’Beirne joined the studio in 1996 as a key layout and workbook artist on DreamWorks’ first traditionally animated feature “The Prince of Egypt.” He went on to supervise the layout team on “The Road to El Dorado,” and was a workbook/animatic layout artist on “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.”
Before coming to DreamWorks, O’Beirne worked on the animated features “We’re Back: A Dinosaur’s Story” and “Balto” at the London-based Amblimation.
O’Beirne is a native of South Africa, where he studied graphic art and earned an advanced degree in illustration.
JAKOB MORT JENSEN (Lead Supervising Animator — Sinbad) came to DreamWorks in 1995 as an animator on the character of Young Moses in “The Prince of Egypt.” His subsequent credits include “The Road to El Dorado,” on which he worked on the lead character Tulio, and “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” where he was a supervising animator on the title character.
Jensen started his career in animation at the age of 17 as an assistant animator at A-Film studios in his native Copenhagen, Denmark.
He worked on several commercials and features, including “Asterix Conquers America” and “Jungle Jack,” and moved up to animator on “All Dogs Go to Heaven 2.” Jensen also worked at Amblimation in London as an animator on the feature “Balto.”
Jensen is currently serving as a supervising animator on DreamWorks’ upcoming computer-animated comedy “Over the Hedge.”
WILLIAM SALAZAR (Supervising Animator — Marina) most recently served as the supervising animator for the equine character Rain in “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.” He had previously supervised the animation on the character of Young Moses in “The Prince of Egypt,” and was the lead animator on the character Tulio in “The Road to El Dorado.”
Hailing from Corsica, France, Salazar graduated from Paris’ animation school CFT Gobelins in 1980. He went on to work at London’s Amblimation, where he worked as an assistant animator on “An American Tail: Fievel Goes West,” as an animator on “We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story,” and as a supervising animator on the three comedic dogs, Nikki, Kaltag and Star, in “Balto.”
DAN WAGNER (Supervising Animator — Ens) most recently worked as a supervising animator on the title character in “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.” Prior to that, he had served as an animator on the characters of Tulio in “The Road to El Dorado” and Older Moses in “The Prince of Egypt.”
Wagner had come to DreamWorks from Warner Bros. animation, where he was the supervising animator on Devon and Cornwall, the two- headed dragon, in “Quest for Camelot.” He also worked on “Space Jam,”
which blended live action and animation.
A native of Canada, Wagner is a self-taught animator who started animating when he was only eight years old. He began his professional career at age 16, spending summer vacations working at Ken Perkins Animation in Winnipeg. Over the next ten years, he had stints at several animation houses, working on both film and commercial projects. His first job as a supervising animator for an animated feature was on the characters of Chamberlain and King William in “The Swan Princess.”
RODOLPHE GUENODEN (Supervising Animator — Proteus) joined DreamWorks as the supervising animator on the character Tzipporah in the studio’s first traditionally animated feature “The Prince of Egypt.” He went on to supervise the animation on the character of Chel in “The Road to El Dorado.”
Before coming to DreamWorks, Guenoden worked at Amblimation in London as a supervising animator and story artist on “Balto.” He also served as a senior animator on “We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story” and as an assistant animator on “An American Tail: Fievel Goes West.”
Guenoden comes from Noyon, France, and attended CFT Gobelins in Paris, France.
BRUCE FERRIZ (Supervising Animator — Kale)cfirst came to DreamWorks as an animator on the character of Moses in “The Prince of Egypt,” and was later an animator on the character Chel in “The Road to El Dorado.” He recently supervised the animation on the character of Spirit as a colt in “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” and is currently at work on DreamWorks’ computer-animated comedy “Sharkslayer,” slated for release in 2004.
Ferriz is a graduate of the popular art and animation school CFT Gobelins in Paris, France. He began his career animating commercials at Bibo Films, a studio founded by DreamWorks Animation director Eric “Bibo” Bergeron. Prior to joining DreamWorks, Ferriz worked as an
animator on “A Goofy Movie” at the Disney Studios in Paris, France.
SERGUEI KOUCIINEROV (Supervising Animator — Spike) was an animator on the character of Little Creek in “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.” He also worked as a supervising animator on the characters of Miguel in “The Road to El Dorado,” and Young Rameses in “The Prince of Egypt.” Kouchnerov is currently working on “Shrek 2,” the sequel to the Academy Awardtwinning blockbuster “Shrek,” due for release in Summer 2004.
‘Before coming to DreamWorks, Kouchnerov worked at Walt Disney Studios as an animator and character designer on “Fantasia 2000.”
He also produced, directed and animated the short films “9 1/2 Minutes,” “The Log” and “The Hopeless Wombat.”
Hailing from Kiev, Ukraine, Kouchnerov studied animation at Ukranimafilm Studio in his home country.